Ki Tavo

Ki Tavo: The Presence of G-d

August 30, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
In the secular world in which we live it can be—and often is—hard to feel the presence of G-d. The Western world has turned religion into a private issue by establishing a wall separating church and state. Undoubtedly, this separation of church and state has had great benefits for the Jewish community. The tremendous growth and confidence of American Jewry is in no small measure due to the constitutional barring of the public...
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Ki Tavo: In the Garden of Eden

September 08, 2017 By: rabbi jay kelman
"And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land which You have given me" (Devarim 26:10). The Israeli farmer was to express his gratitude for his bounty by bringing his first fruits to the Temple and publicly thanking G-d for the privilege of living in, and developing, the holy land. Well aware of the hard, back-breaking work the farmer did, the Torah was concerned that the farmer would see his produce more as a...
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Ki Tavo: Language Barriers

September 23, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman
Those of us living in Canada are especially sensitive to the importance of language to the fabric of a country. The language that one speaks is, more often than not, indicative of cultural norms and attitudes. It is thus no surprise that on many an issue, the views of the people of Quebec differ sharply from those residing in the rest of the country. While it may seem strange to us today, the modern-day Zionist movement debated the question...
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Ki-Tavo: To Share or Not to Share

September 04, 2015 By: rabbi jay kelman
Parshat Ki Tavo opens with the mitzvot of bikkurim, the farmers’ bringing of his first fruits of the land to the Temple, and viddui maaser, the declaration of this same farmer that all tithes have been properly distributed. On the surface these mitzvot are similar, and it is most logical that they would be juxtaposed in the Torah. Both require the farmer in the Land of Israel to acknowledge his...
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Ki Tavo: A Covenant of Love

September 12, 2014 By: rabbi jay kelman
With less than two weeks until Rosh Hashanah, the theme of teshuva begins to take centre stage. While the cycle of Torah reading--and for that matter, the obligation of public Torah reading itself--is only rabbinic in nature, the parshiot at the end of Devarim mesh nicely with the themes of the Yamim Noraim. Moshe Rabbeinu's focus in these last few parshiot is to get the nation ready for entry into a new...
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